Politics & Campaigns

French Warning About COP10

French advocacy groups The SOVAPE association and AIDUCE have detailed a series of anti-vaping measures being proposed by the World Health Organization

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French advocacy groups The SOVAPE association and AIDUCE have detailed a series of anti-vaping measures being proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO is organising COP10 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) from 20 to 25 November 2023 in Panama City. SOVAPE and AIDUCE say the measures will be pressed onto attending member states.

If these measures were accepted, vaping would lose its interest and effectiveness in quitting cigarettes. This is the time to alert decision-makers to the implications of these threats and the importance of defending the FCTC's principle of harm reduction,” says SOVAPE.

The organisations point out that during the COP, in the absence of any objection by a Party, the proposals of the FCTC Secretariat will be approved. Decisions are taken by consensus, not by vote. Parties must then implement the resolutions in their national legislation, while the recommendations create strong political pressure.

They continue: “FCTC COPs take place in a high degree of opacity. The public is informed of decisions once they have been taken, without prior public consultation or participation. To date, the FCTC Secretariat has ensured that no association of users of reduced-risk nicotine products is granted observer status. It should be noted that a large majority of accredited non-governmental organizations are American or funded by American billionaires, although the United States has refused to ratify the FCTC treaty.”

They warn that an offensive against vaping is being prepared ahead of COP10, which include:

  • A ban on open vaping (refillable) systems
  • A complete ban on flavourings, with the exception of the "tobacco" flavour
  • A ban on nicotine salt e-liquids
  • The compulsory standardisation of nicotine delivery for vaping devices
  • To redefine of "smoke" and "smoking cessation" to include vaping and link it to smoking
  • Regulating all vape products as if they are tobacco products – which includes treatment for taxation, a ban on vaping in public places, mandatory health warnings about vaping, plain packaging and a ban of all advertising, promotion and sponsorship

The organisations warn that the time for vapers to act is now – a call that has been echoed by the UK’s New Nicotine Alliance (NNA).

The NNA said: “Although that seems a long way off, we must ACT NOW to get our voices heard. Plans for the meeting are already in progress and by the time the agenda is published in September it will be too late. Decisions will have been made, national delegates will have been selected, and countries – including the UK – will have discussed their policy positions for the event.

“We are asking for all those who have concerns to start writing NOW to protect the most successful alternatives to smoking against blind, unscientific, and ideological hostility from the WHO.”

Our article covering the NNA’s Call To Action details several things you can do to make your voice heard.

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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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